Joe Root’s match-match-winning knock of 115 not out in the First Test against Newzealand, made him the second England player in history to surpass the 10.000 run mark in Test Cricket after Sir Alistair Cook(12,472).
The former England captain walked out to bat on a sunny 4th day at Lord’s. He was 77 unbeaten from 131 balls and was 38 away from achieving special.
The hosts were 216-5 overnight, requiring a further 61 runs for victory, and Ben Foakes was present to aid his former captain to victory.
The duo put on a stand of 120 to take England to a 5-wicket victory with Fioakes’s 32 providing support to Root’s classy knock.
In the post-match presentation, newly named Skipper Ben Stokes lauded his former Captain’s efforts with the bat.
“To see him walk off there, leading the team to victory, seeing the emotion of pure joy and happiness in his first game after stepping down as captain was amazing. “We are very close, we’re not just work colleagues. As emotional as it was for him, it was fantastic for me to see a very close friend walk off after leading England to victory. It was a great day.”Ben Stokes: Evening Standard
In his reflection on relinquishing the Captaincy, Root admits how tough it was, but he did the right thing.
“I think I was unaware of how much it was grabbing a hold of me, as soon as I made the decision to step down I knew it was the right thing to do. I felt like a big weight had been lifted. As hard as it was, I immediately felt a lot better.”Joe Root: The Guardian
The 31-year old admits that he developed ‘a very unhealthy relationship’ in the dressing room during his tenure as captain, he also revealed that it was taking a “bad toll’ on his personal health.
Root captained England in 64 Tests, from February 2017 till April 2022, with a win percentage of 43. However, he still holds the record for the most Test wins(27).
But the miserable Ashes Down Under, followed by the dismal performance in the West Indies, brought a painful end to his leadership;.Embed from Getty Images
Currently 14th in the all-time run-scorers list, the Yorkshireman is now just 85 runs from passing Pakistan’s Younus Khan, who scored 10,099 runs.
He also is seven centuries away from reaching Cook, who has 33, the most by an England batsman.
Sky Sports Pundit Nasser Hussain also described Stokes’s first win as Captain as ‘Huge’, and also praised Root for his services for England.
“Everything he has been through in the last couple of years, as an England captain, in Covid – bubble life – and losing Test matches, he must have felt like the weight of the world was on his shoulders. “You can just see with the reception he got from the Lord’s crowd, they are very appreciative of what this man has done for English cricket.”Nasser Hussain: Sky Sports
Hussain also lauded Stokes team for a wonderful performance at the ‘Home of Cricket’.
“For that England dressing room, with a new captain and new coach, they will have been hanging on every word, but you want to see immediate results and they’ve gone and won a game.
With the second Test starting on Friday, it will be fascinating to see what happens next in this new era of England Test Cricket evolves over the next couple of years.
Can they start with a Series victory against Kane Williamson’s Kiwis?
Find out on World in Sport.